“Current Status of the Use of Antibiotics and the Antimicrobial Resistance in the Chilean Salmon Farms”

“The Chilean salmon industry has undergone a rapid development making the country the world’s second largest producer of farmed salmon, but this growth has been accompanied by an intensive use of antibiotics. This overuse has become so significant that Chilean salmon aquaculture currently has one of the highest rates of antibiotic consumption per ton of harvested fish in the world. This review has focused on discussing use of antibiotics and current status of scientific knowledge regarding to incidence of antimicrobial resistance and associated genes in the Chilean salmonid farms. Over recent years there has been a consistent increase in the amount of antimicrobials used by Chilean salmonid farms, from 143.2 tons in 2010 to 382.5 tons in 2016. During 2016, Chilean companies utilized approximately 0.53 kg of antibiotics per ton of harvested salmon, 363.4 tons (95%) were used in marine farms, and 19.1 tons (5%) in freshwater farms dedicated to smolt production. Florfenicol and oxytetracycline were by far the most frequently used antibiotics during 2016 (82.5 and 16.8%, respectively), mainly being used to treat Piscirickettsia salmonis, currently considered the main bacterial threat to this industry. However, the increasing development of this industry in Chile, as well as the intensive use of antimicrobials, has not been accompanied by the necessary scientific research needed to understand the impact of the intensive use of antibiotics in this industry. Over the last two decades several studies assessing antimicrobial resistance and the resistome in the freshwater and marine environment impacted by salmon farming have been conducted, but information on the ecological and environmental consequences of antibiotic use in fish farming is still scarce. In addition, studies reporting the antimicrobial susceptibility of bacterial pathogens, mainly P. salmonis, have been developed, but a high number of these studies were aimed at setting their epidemiological cut-off values. In conclusion, further studies are urgently required, mainly focused on understanding the evolution and epidemiology of resistance genes in Chilean salmonid farming, and to investigate the feasibility of a link between these genes among bacteria from salmonid farms and human and fish pathogens.”

Source: Frontiers in Microbiology


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